With the dramatic season coming to a close, we must now look towards the opening of the transfer window and the possibilty of spending £30,000,000 in this summer window. We have many areas we need to either strengthen in, or add depth to. The spine of the squad is there so here are the untouchables from the current squad who should not be leaving this summer;
Tomasz Kuszczak; Emilio Nsue, Michael Morrison, Ryan Shotton, Cheick Keita; Maikel Kieftenbeld, Craig Gardner, David Davis, Jacques Maghoma, Che Adams, Kerim Frei; Clayton Donaldson
Moving on now to who I think should be adding to these twelve players to form a playoff contender in the Championship next season. Note: These players have been selected based on their contract expiry not being longer than 2019 and the realism of these signings happening.
Goalkeeper – There is no need to go out here and get a new goalkeeper after Tomasz has signed his new two year deal at the club. Adam Legzdins should be let go by the club and i would like to see Connal Trueman slotted into the number two role to learn from the current shot stopper. This would see a changing of the guard between the white beams in the coming season or two allowing for Trueman to grow at an organic pace.
Full Back –
Cyrus Christie: The Derby full backs contract expires at the end of the season and with no hint of him being offered an extended stay at Pride Park, the probability of swooping in and taking him on a free transfer is looking more likely. He would be the perfect backup option to Emilio Nsue allowing for rotation in this area when the fixture schedule gets congested.
Chris Baird: Sticking with Derby County, Baird played a lot more towards the back end of the season and showed, even at 35 he has a season left in him at this level. He would be an ideal squad player and leader in the dressing room, he can play a multitude of positions all across the backline and just in front as a shield. Gary Rowett seems to like Chris however so he may well be offered a new contract this summer before he hits the open market.
Steven Whittaker: Moving onto the Canaries now and the clearout at Carrow Road has begun and the value of taking their experienced campaigners and blending them into our first team would be a joy. Whittaker has played in the premier league for Norwich and done a great job doing so. He was a shining light in their 3-0 defeat at St Andrews at the beginning of the season and again provides veteran leadership, just adding to what we already have in that department.
Harry Toffolo: Now then, you want to talk about bags of potential. Harry Toffolo has been very highly touted by many clubs in our division and Norwich are yet to offer him a new deal to stay at Carrow Road, if we could snap him up on a free transfer he could well overthrow Jonathan Grounds at left back within three months of the season. He has great defensive instincts and has performed well for Scunthorpe in their League One promotion push this campaign.
Centre Back –
Matthew Pennington (Loan with view to permanent): Everton have been including this young player into their first team, but with a possible changing of manager looming at Goodison Park this summer, the new man in charge may be looking to experience rather than youth. And this is where loaning Pennington comes into play. He is raw, but put in a good performance against Liverpool at Anfield this season and was unlucky during the game that Everton got beat, it was not his fault. He would be a solid number three option which we do need with the loan of Kystian Bielik ending at the end of the season and Paul Robinson near enough collecting his old age pension.
Steven Caulker: If you are looking to replace Ryan Shotton and spend a little bit of that £30,000,000 then Caulker is a player who at only 25 has his best years ahead of him, he has played for Liverpool in the recent past and shown he is a very capable defender in the Championship. He would come at a premium price from Queens Park Rangers but with the money being rumored it should be too much of a stretch.
Daniel Williams: The Reading midfielder can play on both wings and provides Blues with some solid squad depth along with Maghoma. However wide players will come at a premium cost and I can not see Blues attracting the best ones in this division from their respected clubs, they are all tied down to long contracts and all would cost astronomical fees to buy.
Lloyd Isgrove: The Southampton youngster has not fully bloomed into their first team as of yet but a move to Birmingham this summer and he could hold down that right hand side of midfield role which was so desperately vacated with the ridiculous decision to loan out and therefore ostracise David Cotterill. He has the mould of a Chris Burke who was a fantastic servant at St Andrew’s for a long spell.
Sandro: A player Harry knows well and would fit into the mould of our team, hard working, puts a foot in and unlike Gleeson or Tesche has that little bit more quality and guile in the midfield to pick out a pass from the deeper role. He again would probably come with huge wage demands and a hefty transfer fee, but you need this kind of quality if you are to maintain a playoff push.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Loan): Talk about premier league quality, Chelsea have a habit of loaning us their ready made Premier League talent in the Championship. Ruben has not been given too many opportunities at Chelsea and they are more than happy to loan out their players to anybody who wants them, he would provide mobility and again that word quality into our midfield.
Jon Toral(Loan): A man Blues fans know very well, who performed as a contender for our player of the season during his loan spell with the Club, Toral has been doing adequately at Rangers but needs a stable home and where better than the place he thrived in. He would be a perfect replacement for Diego Fabbrini who we assume will be leaving this summer and would provide us with solid work in possesion in a more forward role, something Craig Gardner does not provide us with currently.
Teddy Bishop: Bishop could possibly break the bank for Blues this summer, but he has been fantastic for Ipswich. Their season has been as dull as dishwater but he as provided beacons of light and now we should swoop in and buy that light from them and implant it into our first team. He is the one player I believe is a must sign, or at least compete to sign him this window. He has all the makings of an England international and he just needs a more well suited club to his talents, something which Mick McCarthy is not providing him with at the moment.
Peter Crouch: We can’t get away from including him in talks with Birmingham City at the moment, he is all over the place and for good reason. He is a proven premier league goalscorer who Harry Redknapp knows well from his time at Portsmouth and Tottenham Hotspur. He would electrify this division and score a minimum of 20 goals if given the correct service.
Tammy Abraham(Loan): The goalscoring darling of the Championship this season has been Tammy Abraham, he will have all 24 clubs looking for his signature but if we could land him, alongside Crouch, Donaldson and the fourth guy we will get onto. We would have a plethora of quality striking options young and experienced, enough to get us out of this league. You are only as good as your strikers and if we had these four, I would say, we are pretty good.
Daryl Murphy: Here is that fourth man. Daryl Murphy was brought into newcastle to do one thing, be a backup option in their promotion push. Rafa Benitez has no other plans for him you would thing and would be surplus to requirements at St James’ Park this summer. He wouldn’t come free and his wages would have to be matched with the ones he is on at Newcastle but wouldn’t he be the perfect bench option for us this season? I believe so.
Do you agree with my selections? Let us know on Twitter @BCFCFollowers or directly to me @DanielBird01.